HL Deb 09 May 2001 vol 625 c200WA
Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in the light of allegations in The Times of 23 April of looting and illegal export, they will automatically grant export licences for the Apulian vases recently sold at public auction in London at Christie's on 25 April; and whether they will enquire what mechanism they have for enforcing the European Council Regulation (3911/92) on the Export of Cultural Goods from this country in relation to antiquities orignating in Italy. [HL2077]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

It is a feature of our export licensing controls on cultural objects that Her Majesty's Government do not indicate in advance whether or not an export licence will be granted for a particular object. Nor can I comment about individual applications for export licences as the information given on applications is commerically sensitive and given in confidence. The Government cannot therefore reveal details about which objects are the subject of applications. To do so would be an unwarranted invasion of privacy contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Council Regulation (3911/92) on the export of cultural goods does not permit us to grant an export licence under the regulation for objects which have been despatched from another member state on or after 1 January 1993 unless the dispatch was lawful and definitive.